Today, my hands are especially cold. I would very much like to put them on you and watch you scream and squirm under my vampire power. I took a break after the last post because I was sliding into memories that are intense for me to re-hash, and very boring for you to read. Mostly, I dated some sort of sociopath and he was just exactly the last thing I needed. Then, for laughs, I fell down a very poorly maintained flight of stairs and fractured my shoulder. My shoulder then froze from the trauma, so I couldn’t do any dance moves except a weird pelvic thrust, which completely ruined any party I went to. For me. Everyone else was intoxicated by me, and my rhythm. I made those parties better I guess.
I am not sure if I can accurately describe what it feels like to have a limb freeze. I give it two thumbs down. If you are a cat or a dog, use your whole paw, it is easier, and cuter. I am not a big believer in pain medication, but there were nights where I woke up screaming and crying, unable to turn myself, like a beautiful raven-haired turtle, and in those moments I really regretted not being heavily medicated. The freezing felt as though the inside of my arm was made of guitar strings, and the strings were breaking. My friend Kate told me there are no guitar strings in my arm. But I am still not sure. My friend Kate also told me that I was a good person, and was strong, which was incredibly kind of her to say while ignoring all of the crumbs on my shirt. And my friend Graham, who called me “Little Wing” and who was allowed into the protective imaginary bubble I had around me for hugs, for the only human contact I had for most of that time. A fun fact about a shoulder freezing is that one doesn’t know when it will unfreeze. So it adds a magical surprise element to life that is cool and even stumps some of the finest medical professionals, and that adds a thick layer of worry! More worry please!
A big part of managing autoimmune disease is resting, which is impossible when part of your body is turning into The Thing. Another part is getting daily gentle exercise, which you will need both arms for. So I did my best, but I started to back slide health wise. It was too much, to be injured, to be embarrassed and heart-broken. I felt pretty dumb for falling for such a huge jerk, and I felt very badly about falling down those stairs. As if either of those things were actually my fault, although I thought they both were, in those painful and lonesome nights.
At some point, learning life lessons gets real old, real quick, and I spent the better part of a year healing all sorts of bruises. With no extended health benefits it gets very exciting financially, to choose between getting treatment and other important things, is just so invigorating. I would describe this time as My Year of Terror, and I became very afraid, of everything, as there was little reprieve from physical and psychological pain.
I fought every day against giving up and building a fort out of pizza boxes (empty pizza boxes, do you think I am new?). When I finally started going out again, I only made eye contact with squirrels and very close friends. Thank you to all for your patience. Especially the squirrels because you guys are not great at being patient, so I have made you these hats out of walnut shells and I thank you. Seriously though, thank you friends for keeping me out of a tailspin. But hey, check out my tail. It would look very beautiful spinning. Weeooooooooooooooooo. But here is my apology for not coming to your parties, or anything later than 9pm at night. I just couldn’t do that and do my daily life, and have a robotic arm of sorts.
Largely, what I learned and I am still learning is how stress impacts me, and how I am growing more aware of it with the passing of time. Stress may impact you in a similar way. Have you found yourself standing for fifteen minutes staring at chips while clutching a bag of cookies, wondering what perfect combination of flavors will erase – at least for a moment a belly full of worry and a brain full of fear? The answer is the gluten-free fudgeos things, and the plain ruffled chips. And a bottle of Perrier- because pop is for children. It isn’t! I am kidding. Pop is the most delicious thing in the world and sometimes very, very good mothers put it right into baby bottles, to show love. Unconditional love.